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June 28, 2007

Isn't she?


Artist Julian Schnabel has come under fire in recent weeks as he’s finally unveiled his new residence on Greenwich Village’s West 11th street after lengthy renovations. The building, a Mediterranean-style high-rise, showed its true colors once the tarps came down. It’s adventurous and daring, sitting between two glass Richard Meier towers, pretty in a wash of bright pink.

While some like Andrew Berman, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s director, find the building “a nightmare,” I could not disagree more. It is playful, thoughtful and totally in line with the counter-culture that’s thrived in that part of Manhattan for decades. Whether the artist has painted the building to peeve the area residents who opposed his building permit or if he truly desired a perfect, pink palace I don’t care. I simply love Schnabel’s refusal to play it safe.


This is fantastic!

I love it! Schnabel has always been known for his passion, intensity and creativity. He did not disappoint!

Why would anyone want to paint their building pink besides to anger those that opposed his zoning / building permit but do not bite your nose off to spite face.

I agree with the position of the artist who might have been upset with the local opposition because you want to make something nicer than it might already be but keep it within the limitations already established by the existing structures.

He could have painted portions of the building pink but not the entire building is my comment. He was to spiteful here.


Love it! A designer making a true statement without holding back. It even enlivens everything around it.

I've always admired the colorful buildings and homes in other cultures. How dull we Americans are when it comes to city archetecture.The fact that it's hot pink truly says "let's begin America." We have not been interested in cultural creativity since the 60's.

I agree. I love the color and hope its there to stay.

I would hope that those 'some' were equally as concerned when that crumby when building in the foreground went up!

I love it! It shows that New York refuses to turn into another cookie cutter American city.

How delightful. I love those that are not afraid to explore as a visionary.

I think Schnabel was born in Brownsville, Texas, as close to Mexico as you can get. Obviously, the residence exterior harks back to those roots.

This is a oneliner and another cry for attention. Buildings built that don't function (Gehry and others) and this thing that makes you laugh and then cringe are all the rage it seems. I guess nothing is serious, sacred or to be valued these days...

I think he should glue broken plates all over the that would be a statement!!!

Actually, it is not fantastic. Just think if everyone was given a "free hand" to paint their buildings in NYC, any color they desire - a nightmare!

Well it's not actually quite as vivid a pink as the photo makes it out to be, but it's an awful building.

It's the Manhattan equivalent of the tacky Taco Bell Mediterranean McMansions showcased in the FrontGate
catalog. A hodge-podge of quotations from historical styles are slapped together without restraint or proper scale.
Quotations from vernacular architectures of the past are
made with zero understanding of the overall language of
those particular vernaculars. Schnabel is an ignorant, egomaniacal ass, but that's not news.

My own house in downtown Tucson was just painted hot pink. The very same week our local outdoor movie played Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. One of the movie's famous opening songs is"Think Pink". The scene is grand with bolts of pink silk cascading everywhere and jazzy montages of women across American in the rediscovered color. What an absurd, beautiful idea. Any lingering doubts I'd had about coloring my own dwelling so boldly were gone. Hooray for the Schnabel building! It's a shot of light and joy for a town that has sadly seen the darkest of times.

I can't agree with you more. According to this stunning photo, it is beautiful.

You say,"thoughtful and totally in line with the counter-culture that’s thrived in that part of Manhattan for decades."

How about this: thoughtful and totally in line with the counter-culture that’s thrived in that part of Manhattan for over a century."

Thank you

i think it's amazing as well. especially since the new trend seems to be tearing down historic old buildings and replacing them with strip malls and stucco....this building is preserving and enriching the culture of manhattan in a progressive manner. love it.

Cue the Psychadelic Furs!

Absolutely agree. If I see one more glass box pop up, or a soulless high-rise that's completely incongruous with its surroundings, I'm going to cry. Or throw bright pink paint on it. ANYTHING to reflect some individuality, which I can't believe is even a concern now in New York City. But it is, and we need more people like Shnabel to blaze onward...

Timeless design generally incorporates an element of classic grace. Artistic expression is often intensly provocative. The two may intersect, they aren't substitutes.

why so serious? its simply a coat of paint. i think there is a respect for the heritage of our architectural history that should always be considered and respected, this doesn't challenge that as it cosmetic and a brilliant example of the cultural machine we foster in this country. its all the immortal words of janis joplin...."get it while you can"

I do like the little building on the roof... and would like to see the interiors... but cannot say the pink isn't bothersome.

A Stray Dog, next to a couple of Pure Breds. Proof positive that Money cannot buy Good Taste. Did Schnabel paint the inside the same color as the outside? He should, then he could enjoy it with everyone else.

Aggressive and hideous. Truly conspicuous consumption.

It's hard to tell from a single photo and I would really like to see it in its setting to decide, but my gut feeling is that it is really a breath of fresh air. Reminds me a bit of the jarring but refreshing dissonance of Hundertwasser's far more shocking apartment building in Vienna. You wouldn't want it on every site, but in the midst of so much conservative context, I think its kind of nice.

So much fuss over the color of the building, when what people should be expressing outrage over is that Mr. Schnabel created a 17-story building out of a 3-story, dominating and overshadowing its immediate surroundings. The sheer narcissistic entitlement exhibited by Mr. Schnabel is stunning. What, the original enormous three-story building wasn't enough? What a perfect display of sheer greed. Alright, Julian, alright. We get it. You're richer than the rest of us. Congratulations... Yes, we see you... And who cares about coexisting amicably with those pesky neighbors anyhow - or how long they lived there before you arrived - since it's all about you.

I think its easy for readers of this blog to look at one picture and yell "fab!" when they dont have to worry about how this "statement" is going to affect their property value or have to look at this every day.

City or country, it looks like they had a sale on paint (or maybe even a giveaway). The window shapes are lovely and the building has a great verticality but Schnabel's reputation for egocentric behavior precedes him, and this looks like yet another plea for notoriety.

Looks like someone else likes the building just as much -

From NY Magazine:

Music at Big Pink?

* By S.Jhoanna Robledo

West Villagers may be up in arms over artist Julian Schnabel’s decision to paint his West 11th Street condo project shocking pink, but Madonna may actually be a fan. Sources say the entertainer recently viewed the building’s penthouse, a triplex rumored to be priced somewhere in the $50 million range. Schnabel is said to be marketing the units himself, without a broker. No one knows if Madonna’s interested enough to buy the place, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it persuades her to make the switch from Central Park West to downtown. (Richard Gere has apparently bought an apartment in the building as well.) JC DeNiro’s Christopher Mathieson, who’s seen the apartment, says, “It’s one of the most stunning spaces that will ever be created downtown,” with double-height ceilings and 360-degree views. Besides (to paraphrase a famous observation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s), if you live in the ugliest building in your neighborhood, you don’t have to look at it.

Fabulously invasive.


Oh come silly can you get? The paint job is ridiculous. I would defend to the death (well maybe not quite that far) someone's right to paint the interior spaces any color he wishes. But I also believe that the exterior of a building belongs to all the people, and I can't imagine all the people agree that this pink elephant is pleasing to the eye today. And what will it look like ten years from now with a fine layer of New York smudge on it?

Go for it, Julian! I'm so sick and tired of everyone playing the "game", when the rules have been made up, forgotten, ignored, re-applied, distorted, etc. by some uptight, agenda-driven group or individual. Schnabel's taste is great, his art has gotten better and better, and I'm all for giving him the right to live in what he wants! If you don't like it, don't look!

What's wrong with self-expression. I find it refreshing that someone goes with what they feel is beautiful and does not worry about what others think. Good for you and may other learn that you get satisfaction when expressing yourself.

At least the Schnabel building is in line with the sizing and artistic history of the area, as opposed to the 2 hulking corporate behemoths put up but Richard Meyer. I can't stand those buildings.

Damn. I was just there staying on W. 11th this weekend and totally missed it. I didn't look up or maybe was just charmed by the ground-level architecture of the Village. It seems to be a beacon, nay a monument, for painterly, unabashed color in our gray times.

If you haven't seen Schnabel's movies, such as Before Night Falls and Basquiat, do so today -- or tomorrow. They are gorgeous visually and tell stories in vivid emotional color:

this building is amazing it stands out and its so inserational wow

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